LG G6 full review
LG has recently announced its new G6 flagship smartphone, one that will no doubt soon be vying for the title of best Android phone 2017. This brings it into competition with some heavyweight rivals, not least of which is Google’s own hardware. So how does the LG G6 size up against our current favourite Android offerings the Google Pixel and Pixel XL? Let’s find out.
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LG G6 vs Google Pixel & Pixel XL: Price and UK availability
With the LG G6 only being unveiled very recently there’s not yet a confirmed release date or price. We suspect that the unit will make it’s way onto shelves around April or May, with the price most likely in the standard flagship range of £500-£600.
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are both currently available from the Google Play Store and many high street shops. The Pixel comes in two variants, a 32GB model costing £599 and the 128GB model which will set you back £699. The same storage options are available for the Pixel XL but the bigger screen raises the costs to £719 (32GB) or £819 (128 GB).
LG G6 vs Google Pixel & Pixel XL: Design
LG has been on something of a design odyssey in recent years. First there was the Flex, with its curved body and screen, then the LG G4 arrived with leather back plates - which we thought were pretty cool - and things changed once again when LG revealed the G5 and it’s modular construction. So what wild innovations come with the G6? Well, it’s actually pretty normal.
The body features a solid aluminium frame with gorilla glass adorning the front and back. This gives it the air of a large iPhone 4S, very large in fact. Whereas Apple’s 2011 offering featured a 4-inch screen, which was respectable for its day, the world has moved on considerably in this area. In 2017 Android phones are expected to offer large screen real-estate and the G6 does that in abundance with a 5.7-inch Quad HD display.
LG has kept the unit down to a hand friendly size (148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm) by reducing the side bezels to almost nothing and slightly curving the display edges. The G6 is also taller than normal smartphones, which gives the display an 18:9 aspect ratio rather than the more standard 16:9.
You won’t find a home button on the front of the G6 as LG opted long ago to follow the pure Android path of software buttons on the display. There is a power/lock button on the back of the unit though, which also doubles as a fingerprint sensor, plus the left side is adorned with volume controls. The only ports on the G6 are the SIM tray, 3.5mm headphone jack (Glory be!), and SD card slot, and a fully waterproof USB-C charging port.
Google’s first stab at smartphone hardware, aside from the Nexus program that saw the search giant collaborate with manufacturers including LG, is a definite success. The Pixel and Pixel XL share identical internals, only differing in their size and displays.
The Pixel is the smaller of the two, boasting a 5-inch Gorilla glass 4 AMOLED display. Just like the LG G6 there’s no Home button on the front but you will find a fingerprint sensor around the back. The body is mainly a smoothly finished metal chassis except for the upper third of the back which is glass. It’s an aesthetic choice rather than functional one and divides opinion on whether it adds much to the styling of the unit. Measuring in at 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6mm it’s a comfortable device to hold in one hand, although the slippery nature of the construction means a case is a good idea.
The flanks are home to power and volume buttons as well as the SIM card tray, but unlike the G6 there is no option for an SD card. A USB-C charging port is becoming the defacto choice on most phones these days and the Pixel variant supports fast charging that Google claims will give you seven hours of battery power after just fifteen minutes of being plugged in.
As we said, the Pixel XL features the same design with the only deviation being the larger chassis size (154.72 x 75.74 x 8.58mm) that’s needed to host the 5.5-inch AMOLED display.
See also: Google Pixel vs Google Pixel XL review
LG G6 vs Google Pixel: Specs and Features
The G6, Pixel, and Pixel XL all feature Snapdragon 821 CPUs with 4GB of RAM. This should ensure fast performance over the lifetime of the devices.
Storage is where the units break ranks. The LG G6 offers only 32GB, but this can be bolstered to 2TB due to an SD card slot. The Pixels come in 32GB and 128GB varieties, but without SD card support. So if you’re after lots of storage you’ll either want the G6 or the higher capacity (and priced) Pixel.
All of the devices have beautiful, crisp displays, with the G6’s huge 5.7-inch Quad HD panel delivering a 2880x1440 with 565ppi. This means you can expect images and text to look pristine. The Pixel is no slouch but its 5-inch AMOLED display offers a lower 1920x1080 resolution with 441ppi. Of course the smaller screen size means you need less pixels per inch to look as sharp, so it still produces a fine rendering of content. Moving up to the Pixel XL you get a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a 2560x1440 resolution and 534ppi that’s much closer to that offered on the G6. Basically any of these devices will provide you with an excellent viewing experience.
LG has fitted some decent cameras to its recent devices and the G6 has Dual 13mp optics that should produce high quality images. The dual nature means you can either have 125-degree wide-angle lens, or a standard angle with optical image stabilisation. LG has also said that you’ll be able to zoom between the two, but we’ve not been able to test this feature so far. The G6 can record 60fps HD video too, or Ultra HD at 30fps.
Google’s Pixel phones have excellent 12.3mp cameras that produce stunning results. The focussing is handled by fast laser and phase detection, while the image stabilisation is software based rather than hardware. Initially we had our doubts about this route, but Google has worked its magic and the 1080p 60fps video is very smooth, plus you can also record in 240fps for slo-mo action. It’s less effective in 4K mode though, so if you intend to shoot mainly in this resolution you might want to try the G6.
The front facing cameras are 5mp on the LG, with the Pixels topping this thanks to their 8mp units. All take decent selfies which will be fine for Facebook and Instagram.
One clear advantage for the G6 is terms of waterproofing. The new LG has been certified IP68, which means it will survive being submerged to depths of up to 1.5 metres for a maximum of 30 minutes. The Pixel and Pixel XL unfortunately don’t have waterproofing, so any dips in the pool will likely prove fatal.
Battery life isn’t a fair comparison, as we’ve not spent any time with the LG G6 yet. On paper though the 3300mAh unit should get users through the day. The Pixel can go all day thanks to its 2770mAh battery, while the 3450mAh version in the Pixel XL is not only larger than the LG unit, but should also benefit from Google’s optimisations when running pure Android.
LG G6 vs Google Pixel: Software
With the Pixel range Google has moved into the hallowed space previously occupied by Apple, in that the hardware and software are all created by one company. This means Pixel users will benefit from the latest version of Android, fast updates, alongside dedicated Google apps such as the useful Google Assistant that is at the heart of these devices. There’s no bloat on the Pixel or Pixel XL, just Android as Google thinks it should be experienced, and we find ourselves agreeing with them.
LG has overhauled its Android skin to take advantage of the G6’s taller 18:9 ratio display. This means all of the bespoke apps work well with the new design. The latest Android 7.1 version underlies everything, and LG has a decent track record of keeping up to date with newer versions when they come out. It won’t stay as current as the Pixels, but it won’t be too far behind either.
See also: LG G6 hands-on review
LG G6: Specs
- Android Nougat 7.0
- 5.7in 18:9 2880x1440 Quad HD display, 565ppi
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
- Adreno 530 graphics
- 4GB RAM
- 32/64GB storage (region dependent)
- 13Mp dual rear cameras, Wide (F2.4, 125°) / 13MP Standard OIS 2.0 (F1.8, 71°) LED flash
- 5Mp front camera, Wide (F2.2 / 100°)
- 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 4G LTE
- Nano SIM (Dual SIM in some regions)
- Hi-Fi Quad DAC (Korea only)
- 3,300mAh non removable battery
- Wireless charging (US only)
- Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
- IP68 water resistant
- 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm